illustration of woman staring at floating calendar

creating a content calendar

January 11, 2021

written by
Barbara O Stephenson

Why do you need a content calendar?

A content calendar keeps things organized across all marketing platforms. We post about using these a lot, from the how-to’s on social media to the suggestions like our 2019 content calendar tips post. it keeps things organized no matter if you are a single proprietor or running a team. It’s actually a lot less stressful than you think. Here are our hints on making a content calendar a breeze.

  1. We created a content calendar template and filled in the basic holidays and ‘fun post ideas like National Beer Day (a revered 3FO holiday) or Taco Day.
  2. Then take something you’re passionate about, like your job or your hobby and create a series. For 3FO, we write about web application development, design, and marketing. Maybe your series is monthly, maybe it’s just inspiration for something you found interesting, or maybe it is the disaster recipes from your pandemic baking.
  3. If you’re a larger team, you can spread out the responsibility across the weeks. If it’s just you, drop the posts down to twice a month. That’s 24 posts and since we’ve already filled in some ideas for fun and the holidays, it’s really not much.
  4. When planning your content, remember that you don’t have to write more than 3 paragraphs. So don’t get hung up on needing everything researched to the best of your ability. There is an internet term TL:DR. It means Too Long, Didn’t Read. Not everyone is a deep reader.

Now that your content calendar is done, it’s time to get ready to write. Another daunting task if you ask our team.

Get a scheduler like HootSuite or Later. That way, you can schedule your posts to go out and cross-post at the same time. BEWARE– if you use a scheduler to post, free platforms like Facebook will immediately start pushing you to advertise AND will decrease your post viewing. They are a business and they want your money. If you want to avoid this, keep posting manually.

Then when you’re ready to write, start with bullet points. Add some images (no stealing!) Illustrations or graphs to make it interesting.

Write posts in advance. Don’t wait until you have to do the post, write when the inspiration hits you. And if you’re struggling, run some ideas off a client, vendor, colleague, or friend. We usually queue up the posts about 3 weeks in advance.

Don’t stick to writing only what you’ve scheduled out. Our team writes extra posts when we come across a topic we think would be interesting. That gives us a library of ‘spare posts’ to use when we mess up. And we do, all the time.

Now that we have a few years of posts, we find that going back and updating past posts with new information is a good way to keep building on content. Creating a few evergreen posts that get updated regularly with new information is a good way to grab some SEO value.